Saturday, November 10, 2012


Laddu is an elaborate sweet prepared all over India – especially for Diwali and weddings. It is also known as Boondi laddu in North India - of course the boondis are smaller!

It was my maternal grandma who taught me to make this – way back in 1974! She was visiting me when my son was one and a half. She couldn’t remain idle – she was itching to prepare special items for us. I suggested ‘Laddu’ and she was as excited as me. I observed the way she prepared the batter and sugar syrup – their consistency. At the end of it I noted down the recipe in my recipe book. I would try it out once in a while – and successfully – I had observed its preparation you see! That is the best way to learn a recipe.

It’s after a long gap that I ventured to make ‘laddu’.


  1. Besan(gram flour) – 2 ½ cups
  2. Rice flour – 1 tsp
  3. Orange food color - a drop
  4. Water - about 1 cup
  5.  Cashew nuts – 2 tbsp
  6. Raisins – 2 tbsp
  7. Cloves (optional) – 8-10
  8. Ghee – 1 tbsp
  9. Oil for frying
For sugar syrup
  1. Sugar - 3 cups
  2. Water - 1 1/2 cups
  3. Cardamom powder - 1 tsp
  4. Saffron strands - 1/2 tsp / Rose water - 1 tsp


  1. Mix besan and rice flour and add water to make a fairly thick batter, making sure there are no lumps.
  2.  Add a drop of orange color and mix well.
  3. Heat 1 ½ cups of water in a big vessel and add sugar. 
  4. Stir and keep boiling till you get a thick syrup. 
  5. Add a few strands of crushed saffron strands / rose water. 
  6. Add a drop of orange color and mix well.
  7. Heat oil in a large kadhai. 
  8. Use a boondi maker (you can even use a steel colander) to make the boondis.
  9. Hold it above the hot oil, lower the flame and add 3-4 tbsp of batter and allow the boondis to fall in the oil, making sure they don’t stick together.
  10. Gently turn the boondis till they are done ( when the bubbles in the oil almost disappear).
  11. Drain off the boondis and drop them in the hot syrup.
  12. Clean the bottom of the colander before making each batch of boondis.
  13. Keep adding hot boondis to the warm syrup till the syrup is completely absorbed.
  14. Warm the vessel at the end to melt and mix the thickened syrup sticking to the sides of the vessel.
  15. Heat ghee in a small kadhai and fry the cashew nuts and raisins separately till they are golden brown and add to the laddu.
  16. Sprinkle cardamom powder too and mix gently.
  17. Cool for a little while and make laddus. 
  18. If you are unable to make laddus, don’t worry – leave it as boondi – they taste really great too!

  1. The boondis should be round and not flat. You can try to rectify by adding a little more water / besan to the batter.
  2. If the sugar syrup is extra-thick and boondis don’t absorb it, try to add a tbsp of water and heat on low flame, scraping the thickened sugar sticking to the sides.
  3. The syrup should not be very watery – laddus will be too soft and will not last.
 © Copyright 2011. Brinda Balasubramonian.

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